The Houston Rockets do not have much to complain about from their newest acquisitions after one game.
James Harden led the way with 37 points, 12 assists and six rebounds as the team was able to defeat the Detroit Pistons 105-96. Although it was less noticeable, the rest of the new members of the team had impressive debuts as well.
Center Omer Asik finished with 12 points and nine rebounds on 5-of-6 shooting, Carlos Defino had 15 points and seven rebounds from the bench and Jeremy Lin had 12 points and eight assists. While this was a solid start for Lin, the Rockets can feel good about the fact that he can achieve much more this season.
The first thing Lin has to worry about is staying in control on the court. He had four turnovers in the game, one of which was an offensive foul while another led directly to a layup on the other end of the court.
This is something that plagued the talented guard even when he was at his best on the New York Knicks. During his breakout month of February last year, Lin averaged 20.9 points and 8.4 rebounds per game. However, he also added five turnovers per game.
Last season, Lin ranked No. 41 in the NBA among point guards with a 1.71 assist-to-turnover ratio. Only five qualified players were worse in the 2011-12 season.
These types of numbers will hurt the Rockets over the course of the season. However, the team will be in very good shape if he can get that number up to at least 2.5 this year.
Another place that needs to see improvement is in his three-point shooting. Lin only hit 32 percent of his shots from behind the arc last season, although he only attempted 75 three-point shots in 35 games.
It is not a big deal that he went 0-for-2 from three against the Pistons, but his attempts should drop even lower if he does not improve. It does not do the team any good to take bad shots that are likely to miss the basket. Rajon Rondo does not pretend to be a good three-point shooter, and as a result only takes an average of 0.6 three-point attempts per game over his career.
Fortunately, the latest perimeter additions from the Oklahoma City Thunder—James Harden and Daequan Cook—are both very good shooters and should do enough to spread the floor when they are in the game.
The Rockets should also take solace in the fact that Lin's 12 points should be close to a low point for the point guard. He missed a few close shots in the season opener and will also be able to get to the free-throw line more than twice in an average game.
Harden is not going to score 37 points every time out, but Lin should be able to make up the scoring on most nights.
Houston has made some aggressive moves since the end of last season. Only time will tell if all of the decisions will pay off, but right now the team and fans feel encouraged.
After only an average game from Jeremy Lin, good things could definitely be on the way.
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